As I wrote last year about this time, McGill University’s Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry holds a Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry early every summer, along with a month-long Summer Program in Social and Cultural Psychiatry. The Advanced Study Institute typically consists of a two-day workshop during which cultural psychiatrists, psychologists, anthropologists and other social scientists and clinicians meet to discuss their papers on a topic chosen for that year, and a public conference during which many of these papers are presented in a more formal way.
The Summer Program, which immediately follows the Advanced Study Institute, offers a month of intensive courses on topics such as cultural psychiatry, psychiatric epidemiology, clinical work with culture, trauma, and global mental health research. I sat in on courses for a couple of years while I was at McGill and would highly recommend it both to clinicians interested in the social and cultural dimensions of illness and care and to grad students, postdocs and faculty members in the social scientists who want an intensive introduction to cultural psychiatry. Materials for registering for the Summer Program in 2011, which runs from May 2 to June 3, are available now.
The topic for nest year’s Advanced Study Institute – which will be held from April 26 to 29, 2011 – is “Cultures of the Internet: Identity, Community and Mental Health.” Here’s the abstract:
The Internet and World Wide Web have woven together humanity in new ways creating global communities, new possibilities of exchange, new forms of pathology and new modes of intervention. This workshop and conference will explore the implications of the internet for cultural psychiatry. Sessions will address four broad areas: (i) how the internet is transforming human functioning, personhood and identity, e,g, blogging and autobiographical narration, virtual identities, new functional organizations of memory, cognition, sensorial worlds, and relatedness to others, shifting notions of public and private; (ii) how the new forms of electronic networking give rise to new types of groups and forms of community, e.g. social networking, transnational connections of migrants, communities of interest and common concern; (iii) pathologies of the internet, e,g, internet addiction, internet suicide, sexual exploitation, cyberbullying, social isolation, and the amplification of psychopathology; and (iv) the uses of the internet in mental health care, e.g. delivery of health information, web-based consultation, treatment intervention and mental health promotion. Particular attention will be given to these issues as they apply to indigenous peoples in rural and remote communities, to migrant populations and in global mental health.
The format will be a 2-day workshop for researchers in these areas (April 26 & 27), followed by a 2-day conference oriented toward clinical or public health practitioners and policy makers (April 28 & 29).
I’m very excited to see that the visiting presenters will include psychologist Vaughan Bell (known to many of you as the indefatigable blogger behind Mind Hacks), UC-Irvine anthropologist Tom Boellstorff (author of Coming of Age in Second Life), York University anthropologist Naomi Adelson, cyberpsychology researcher Stéphane Bouchard, clinical psychologist Radhika Santhanam, and our own frequent contributor Sadeq Rahimi. I’ll be there as well, presenting with Laurence Kirmayer and others at McGill on a project to provide online resources about culture and mental health to patients, clinicians, community groups and other stake-holders in Canada.
If you are interested in attending or submitting a poster, please visit the Institute’s website.
- Cultures of the Internet conference, Montreal, April 28-29, 2011
- Conference announcement: Rethinking Cultural Competence from International Perspectives
- FPR-UCLA Conference on the Cultural and Biological Contexts of Psychiatric Disorder
- Biological and cultural contexts of schizophrenia: a discussion panel
- Global Mental Health: Bridging the Perspectives of Cultural Psychiatry and Public Health